DVD - Forbidden Planet (5 stars)


(PG) 94min (Warner Home Video DVD retail)


The best screen adaptation of Shakespeare’s The Tempest (although Derek Jarman’s punk opera 1979 version comes a close second) finally gets a decent DVD transfer with some formidable extras. Made in 1956, Fred M Wilcox’s (Lassie Come Home, The Secret Garden) superb sci fi adventure film decants Shakespeare’s last solo authored play (often referred to by scholars as his ‘retirement play’) into a space exploration mystery starring the mighty Walter Pidgeon as a tortured Prospero (here named Dr Edward Moebius).

This is a marvellous multi-influential work that really begs revisiting. It is, however, the extras that are the real find here. Over two packed out discs there are some mind blowing deleted scenes and lost footage plus two follow-up vehicles featuring the film’s real star Robby the Robot, and three documentaries on the film. On top of this there are excerpts from the TV series this film inspired. A treat.

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